Dr. Rav Ivker Supports Medical Marijuana, But He Thinks Cannabis Concentrates 'Should Be Illegal'

Dr. Rav Ivker supports medicinal cannabis use, but he's not onboard with all cannabis products. In fact, Dr. Ivker - who wrote the book 'Cannabis for Chronic Pain' - has come out against cannabis concentrates because he believes the THC levels in products like shatter are so high, they could be dangerous.

"I think they should be illegal," Ivker told Westword recently. "In fact, I hope they become illegal. The only thing they're good for is getting really high. But they're high-risk, and there's really no benefit from them."

Ivker cites the potential for high THC products to induce cannabis addictions and cause schizophrenia as reasons to oppose them.

"[Those] who are most attracted to these products happen to be adolescents and young adults—people in their twenties," Ivker explained. "And even more concerning than the addiction problem is the fact that our brains are still developing until we're in our mid-to-late twenties. The THC affects brain function and can create a higher risk of schizophrenia, and that's really awful. We're definitely seeing an increase in the number of young people developing schizophrenia from the daily use of cannabis. I think that's the greatest health risk of all, and one common denominator is that people who are at the highest risk for developing schizophrenia began using daily before the age of eighteen."

Ivker still believes there are real medical applications for cannabis—particularly for chronic pain—but it must be used with caution, saying patients should avoid using cannabis every day if they don't need to.

"I often recommend topicals—creams and salves that have proven to be highly effective. Many of these young people have chronic pain as a result of sports-related injuries—snowboarding, mountain biking—and also automobile accidents. And they can get two to three hours of relief without getting high from a topical."

So it might be a good thing that most cannabis consumers still prefer smoking a joint to dabbing.

Cannabis for Beginners - What's the legal age to smoke recreational marijuana?


After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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